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NECC Theater Takes Center Stage at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Submitted by on February 6, 2023 – 7:59 pm

Hyannis/Haverhill, MA (February 1, 2023) – Northern Essex Community College Theater is taking a bow for an exceptional showing at this year’s Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), Region 1. The festival brings together hundreds of college theater students, professors, and professionals from New England and New York to showcase their work and share their expertise.

This year was a banner year for NECC at the festival:

three actors sit at table wearing silk pink dresses

Olivia Barberian, Jessica Newey, and Gwynnethe Glickman, performed a scene from Lighten Up

The 2022 production of Lighten Up was selected as one of the top ten best productions (Region I) of the 2021-2022 Academic year. Cast members Gwynnethe Glickman, Olivia Barberian, and Jessica Newey performed a scene during the Invited Scenes Showcase. “They tore the roof off the place,” remarked NECC Theater Professor Brianne Beatrice. “They took this scene from a show we staged outside and performed it in front of 300 people. It was incredible.”

Gwynnethe Glickman and scene partner Mirrorajah Metcalfe

Gwynnethe Glickman and scene partner Mirrorajah Metcalfe


Student Gwynnethe Glickman placed third out of 150 nominees in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. Gwynnethe Glickman performed a monologue as Benvolio from Romeo and Juliet and a scene from  Anything for You with partner Mirrorajah Metcalfe. This is the third award Glickman has won from KCACTF.

Professor Beatrice presented a Master Meisner Acting Workshop to nearly 200 students. The Meisner technique is an approach to acting that teaches actors to rely on their instincts and to build connections with each other. “It builds up their confidence, and they produce beautiful art,” says Beatrice. This is the tenth year that Beatrice has taught this workshop at the KCACTF. She says that because the Meisner Technique is “theater’s best-kept secret,” students were eager to learn how to use it in their own craft.

group shot of dozens of students

Nearly 200 students took part in the Master Meisner Acting Workshop

Spring Theater at NECC
There are several upcoming opportunities to see NECC Theater in action. They are staging a production of Hurricane Diane, featuring Metcalfe as Diane. Shows are scheduled for April 27-30. Beatrice is also creating a showcase of student work from the festival on Wednesday, February 15 at 11 am on the Haverhill Campus.

Northern Essex offers a variety of theater and acting courses. Additionally, they stage several full productions and readings throughout the year. Anyone interested in learning more about NECC Theater or the audition process should email Professor Beatrice at

The KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, which has served as a catalyst for improving the quality of college theater in the United States. More than 600 academic institutions participate in state, regional, and national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festivals. The National Festival will be held in April in Washington, D.C.